[openbiblio-dev] Public Domain Calculators

Primavera De Filippi primavera.defilippi at okfn.org
Tue Nov 8 12:38:06 UTC 2011

Hi all,
just to let you know that the new version of the public domain calculators
has been uploaded into the github repository
you can check it out at: https://github.com/okfn/pdcalc/tree/master/pd

The back-end has been rewritten to allow for national calculators to be
written as RDF files independently of the underlying code.
Just a few words to describe the new system:

* graphm2rdf.rb takes a Flowchart.graphmlz as input to produce a
Flowchart.rdf file that describes the national flowchart according to
specifically designed ontology http://bedlam.dk/flow/0.1

* metadata[n].rdf are the metadata files describing a particular work -
those are random metadata files taken from Bibliographica.org

* map.rdf constitutes the actual implementation of the national calculator
- mapping the questions from Flowchart.rdf to the answers in the
metadata.rdf files by providing a specific sparql query for each relevant

* reasoner.py takes those 3 files as an input: Flowchart.rdf (national
flowchart), map.rdf (national calculator), and metadata.rdf (work
metadata), process the whole thing and declares whether or not the work
described in metadata.rdf is still under copyright protection according to
the national Flowchart.

The advantage of this approach, is that it should makes it easier to create
new calculators as new flowcharts are created and/or updated. The
calculators are mere RDF files, so that no programming skills are necessary
to implement them, except for some decent knowledge of Sparql.

Since the code is very recent, it would be very great if you could check it
out and eventually test it to see if there are any problems with it.

The current calculator that is in the repository (map.rdf) is a preliminary
implementation of the Austrian flowchart from outofcopyright.eu (
It is, however, currently unable to properly determine the public domain
status of a work because of an issue that has been encountered with sparql
1.0: it does not appear to be possible to perform arithmetic operation on
dates, which means that the calculator cannot determine e.g. whether or not
the work has been published 70 years after the death of the author.
Unfortunately, none of the standard python's rdf libraries have yet
implemented a support for sparql 1.1
Hence, I was wondering whether anyone on the list had any suggestion as to
how to overcome this limitation, or maybe knows of any python library with
a better support of sparql ?

Looking forward to your feeback !
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